FIFA World Cup 2018: Germany's loss against Mexico gives Belgium, England incentive to finish second in group

Germany’s surprise loss to Mexico could create a strange situation in Group G where England and Belgium may face a theoretically easier path to the last four if they finish second rather than top of the standings.

Germany's defeat against Mexico could have implications on the winners of Group G. AFP

Germany's defeat against Mexico could have implications on the winners of Group G. AFP

The winners of Group G — which also features Tunisia and Panama — will play a last-16 match against the Group H runners-up, Colombia, Japan, Senegal or Poland.

If that game is won the most likely quarter-final opponents would be five-times world champions Brazil. The path for the runners-up was expected to lead to an equally difficult quarter-final against defending champions Germany, after a round of 16 game against the winners of Group H.

But as Germany are without a point after their opening match there is a chance the opponents waiting in the last eight could be potential Group F winners Mexico or possible Group E runners-up Serbia — tough but certainly preferable to Brazil.
England and Belgium meet in their final group game on 28 June in Kaliningrad and both could have booked their places in the next round by then — leaving the fixture to decide who finishes first and second. Belgium beat Panama 3-0 in their opener on Monday and face Tunisia next. The Africans lost 2-1 to England who play Panama on Sunday.

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Updated Date: Jun 19, 2018 20:31 PM

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